Skip to comments.Study: Western forests dying at increasing rate (Enviro-wacko alert)
Posted on 01/23/2009 1:41:00 PM PST by Zakeet
Trees in old growth forests across the West are dying at a small, but increasing rate that scientists conclude is probably caused by longer and hotter summers from a changing climate.
While not noticeable to someone walking through the forests, the death rate is doubling every 17 to 29 years, according to a 52-year study published in the Friday edition of the journal Science. The trend was apparent in trees of all ages, species, and locations.
"If current trends continue, forests will become sparser over time," said lead author Phillip J. van Mantgem of the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center.
"Eventually this will lead to decreasing tree size," he said. "This is important because it indicates future forests might store less carbon than present."
The researchers considered several other possible causes for the higher death rate air pollution, overcrowding of young trees, the effects of logging, large trees falling on small ones, and a lack of forest fires, which keep forests healthy. But the data showed the trend affected trees young and old, in polluted and clean air, in crowded and sparse stands and at different elevations.
The likely cause, they concluded, was warmer average temperature across the West, about 1 degree over the study period, said co-author Nathan L. Stephenson, also of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. That results in greater stress on the trees from lack of water, leaving them vulnerable to disease and insects.
The geological survey paid for the study, which examined data between 1955 and 2007 in 76 research plots in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Colorado and Arizona. The average age of the forests examined was about 450 years, with some as old as 1,000 years. Of the 59,736 trees counted, 11,095 died over the study period.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
According to the article: Trees are dying in old growth forests due to climate change -- which will cause still more global warming.
However: Trees in areas where logging is permitted are doing just fine.
Therefore: Logging should be prevented because it we don't like it even though it helps prevent global warming.
Gee, who would have thought that plants and trees would die without water.
Trees are a harvestable CROP. I live in farm country, guess what happens if you don’t harvest the corn?
Yep, eventually it dies in place.
Not removing the undergrowth was one of the single biggest mistakes we’ve made since the Clinto era - see California’s firestorms for one good example, but there are others in every national forrest each year, and they are getting worse.
Forest management is the correct answer ... but not one the green kooks are going to embrace. More hugging of the sick trees is their solution.
Maybe it’s from bugs that we’re not allowed to eradicate using pesticide ... like who is going to eat a tree other than bugs????
Looks like AP stole it from Mercury News...
These "scientists' (who are only activists, not 'scientists) are brain dead.
The summers have been shorter and cooler for the past ten years, not longer and hotter. Shorter and cooler summers stunt the growth of forests.
Actually the water tables are saturated in the upper Midwest, no shortage of water. It's just been cooler and shorter summers, at least in these parts on the edge of the boreal Forrest.
That's an understatement. This year, because of this global warming thing, it froze on the way down. 5 feet of the darn stuff landed right on the roof and everywhere else. We still have piles up to 8 feet tall alongside the roads.
Spring can't come fast enough for me.
My long-dead grandfather kept his eyes open, and would point out the occasional bluebird to me when I was with him in our part of bitter, clingy, underserved-by-government Appalachia, but I’ve seen as many in the past five years as he’d shown me in his last fifteen. And not just bluebirds... I’m seeing orioles, waxwings, redtails, and those beautiful little kestrels. Heard a bobcat screaming for love late last night; the house was quiet & he was close enough that he kept me from nodding off. A bear left tracks in the snow outside my garage after Thanksgiving, and I’m hearing more coyotes and ravens every month. Only critter on the downturn hereabouts is the whitetail, and those brainless, suicidal, car-destroying, headlight-lured, four-legged, pavement zombies deserve to diminish.
Due to fire suppression, forests are denser than they ever have been.
So, these idiots don’t know what they’re talking about.